Campus: CSU, Hayward -- October 22, 1999

University 'Math Ambassador' Named California Professor of the Year

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named Julie Glass of California State University, Hayward its 1999 California Professor of the Year. Glass hosts a cable television program devoted to college algebra, has authored math-oriented children's books and co-founder of a math and science day camp for school-age girls. She was selected from among 20 nominees at universities throughout California.

"Cal State Hayward is fortunate to have her as a mathematical ambassador of good will," said Edward Keller, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at CSUH. "From the time of her arrival on campus she has been a force in shaping our mathematics curriculum."

"Her efforts to bring mathematical literacy to our students and our community have been truly exceptional", said Cal State Hayward President Norma Rees. "Her contributions have gone far beyond the traditional classroom."

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education represents 2,900 colleges, universities and independent elementary and secondary schools and established the Professor of the Year program in 1981 in cooperation with the Carnegie Foundation. After two CASE panels selected finalists from among 420 nominees, the Carnegie Foundation convened a third panel to select winners in 44 states.

The Carnegie Foundation is a policy center located in Palo Alto, CA, and is devoted to strengthening America's schools and colleges.

Among Glass' most visible contributions to CSUH has been her development of two programs for the university's cable television station, CNTV, which reaches 200,000 East Bay households. The first, Math on TV, was a video course that ran two years ago and was targeted at high school students who needed help preparing for mathematics placement exams.

The second course developed by Glass is College Algebra, which can be viewed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the CNTV viewing area. After enrolling in the course, students watch the lectures on television or purchase the videotapes. The course is offered for college credit through the Cal State Hayward Division of Extended and Continuing Education and has an Internet component that allows students to interact with the instructor.

"It is difficult to view one of these shows without getting caught up in Julie's enthusiasm for elementary algebra, a subject not generally considered exciting enough even for cable viewers," Keller said. "But Julie's presentations are not fluff. What she teaches is solid mathematics, delivered with style and mixed with her infectious brand of humor."

Both Keller and President Rees said they are often approached by local residents who comment with enthusiasm about Glass' television programs.

Also enthusiastic about Glass' efforts are girls from 10 to 12 years old who for the past two summers have participated in a summer enrichment program in math and science. Glass and colleague Kathy Hann developed the Mathematical Explorations for Girls' Achievement Camp to expose girls to the possibilities of pursuing an advanced education in mathematics. The summer program has included field trips as diverse as those to a wastewater treatment plant, the NASA Ames Center and Dryer's Ice Cream plant. Last year the day camp was awarded a $98,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to keep it in operation for two years.

In the Precollegiate Academic Development Math Program, Glass helps train Cal State Hayward student interns to work with students in local high schools on their math skills.

Glass also has authored two Random House children's books with mathematical themes: A Dollar for Penny and A Fly on the Ceiling.

"Mathematics can be a gateway to the most influential and rewarding positions in today's society," Glass said. "In order to relay mathematical ideas to all levels of students it is necessary to demystify math as a discipline while maintaining its essential aesthetic beauty.

"I hope to achieve these goals while challenging my students to become independent thinkers and responsible individuals."

She explained that she writes mathematical stories for children as part of her effort to alleviate "the apparent epidemic of math phobia among students of all ages. The earlier children are exposed to mathematics the more likely they are to feel comfortable and confident with mathematical concepts later in life."

Glass received her doctorate and master's degrees in mathematics from UC Santa Cruz and her bachelor's degree from Smith College in Northampton, MA. She was hired as an assistant professor at CSUH in 1994.

"Professor's Glass' proofs class was my first upper division math class and my first college experience in nearly 12 years," said CSUH student Kirk Morris. "Her enthusiasm for teaching and love of mathematics quickly alleviated any trepidation I had toward returning to school.

"She is largely responsible for my decision to become a teacher and pursue a graduate degree in math. She rekindled my passion for mathematics and helped me discover my style of teaching as I try to emulate her."

In addition to the Carnegie Foundation and CASE, more than 25 higher education associations support the U.S. Professors of the Year Program with financial contributions, promotional assistance, and by providing judges.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie, "to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation.

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